Out of Time

Well, it’s another out of time day for me, sorry!  The world just ganged up on me this week to make sure I couldn’t get everything done.

I’m in the middle of preparing for my India trip, ordering things, making arrangements for while I’m gone, plus we have a big work meeting next week I’m prepping for. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

We are doing hiking in Sikkim, so I have to take all the things you wear at altitude hiking –  backpack, lightweight sleeping bag, long underwear, socks, layers, laundry soap, and on and on.  It became clear a week or so ago that one suitcase isn’t going to work.  I’m taking a big backpack and a big backpack suitcase.  I can leave one in Gangtok while we make the hiking circuit since we land back in Gangtok before we go on to Rishikesh.  I hope that works.  I’m still going to need another suitcase in Delhi for all the stuff I buy there – spices, silks, jewelery.  I may have to throw out the sleeping bag. No, can’t do that, it’s my really great one!!!

So that’s been my last week – getting my visa, ordering all my crap, and most of it is just the weight in my mind that will stay there until I have all of it in my suitcases and checked off my list.

Puzzement, though, is a serious facial cleanser for our days in Delhi. We have about three days in Delhi, and we are taking bandanas to put over our faces because the air is so foul and polluted, and you come back to your hotel with black gunk in your nostrils.  I have a regular facial cleanser, but it occurs to me that I may need something stronger that won’t strip my face. Ideas? I tend to be dry and sensitive, so I can’t go all overboard with this.  Maybe just use my normal and take some facial wipes to keep my pores clear through the day?

My iPad showed up today with its little wireless keyboard and case and, dang, it is so cute, it’s making me squeal like a girl.  If I can do the wireless tethering to either my Verizon or AT&T cell phone, whenever I can find a wireless hotspot or 3g or Edge service, I may be able to post something or e-mail or just google something so I feel closer to home. But this iPad just made a bunch of room in my suitcase. I don’t have to take my mini computer or my Kindle, it will do double duty there.

And I’m a little over two weeks away from going. How did that happen?  It seemed so far away not too long ago.

Well.  You get some idea with those couple of paragraphs about how scattered my already scattered head is.  Calming fragrances, what  ones work?  I’m thinking of that Kenzo UFO thing  or the Tan Guiducci thingie or any of the Cdg Incense series.   What calms you? Incense tends to do it for me, and I need a full dose now!

  • sariah says:

    Hi Patty,

    For places where water is scarce (camping / hiking /trekking) or I don’t trust the water (Delhi!), I use bottled water to wash my face and a foaming cleanser that lathers up really well and hardly needs any water. I use the Origins one. Their sample size lasts me a couple of weeks. I’m a big fan of baby wipes for removing sweat from face, arms, basically everywhere, between showers. In most countries I’ve been able to buy small packs of 10 baby wipes so they’re really handy.

    The kindle has been a lifesaver for me on longer trips. I love it because I can read it comfortably in sunlight (no glare), and it’s so light and small I can read it with one hand when lying down etc. I wouldn’t recommend bringing the Ipad unless you really want to have a computer with you.

    One of my best travel gear finds in a money belt (for passport, cards etc) that actually goes around your leg just below the knee, not your belly, so you don’t end up with that lovely bulge. It’s great under trousers or long skirt. And it’s comfy – I always double secure with a safety pin, in addition to the velcro. They have them at REI.

    Sikkim sounds super cool. Enjoy!

  • Wordbird says:

    Plan on posting your sleeping bag back to yourself, to make room in your luggage for more stuff to bring home! :)
    Sounds like a wonderful trip, I have no doubt you’ll enjoy it.

  • Mary says:

    Here is a facial cleanser rec: Lotus Moon. It is a super cleanser for my dry, super sensitive skin. And, for soothing fragrance– something natural, like the Elisir de Medici from I profumi di Firenze. La Serenissima . . . :)>-

  • violetnoir says:

    Have a safe and wonderful trip, Patty. India will get under your skin, and stay with you for a long time. The colors, the weather, the iconic sites, the filth, the food, the people, the holy cows, even the stray dogs in the street will never let you forget them.

    I stayed in the Green Park section of Delhi for twelve days with my sister in August 2009. Mind you, I am originally from DC, but I have never, ever experienced such hot, humid weather. I was sweating in places I did not know existed! However, I did not need a mask or a bandana. My sister used used a mask, but she was in India for stem cell treatment for Lyme disease.

    Frankly, I found Delhi to be no filthier or poorer than any Central or South American country that I have visited, and I have visited many. But, I did stay very clean, and wore easy, cotton, washable clothes. Obviously, you will not drink or brush your teeth in the water, but consider closing your eyes when you take a shower. I did! :d

    There’s a beautiful restaurant in Connaught Circus called Veda. The food is so delicious, and the service was attentive. If you have the time, I recommend it.

    Take good care! Be safe!


  • nozknoz says:

    How about a solid scent? It won’t spill, cause hassles with security inspections, or turn you into a hated sillage monster on the plane. I’ve been thinking those lovely, bargain-priced Pacificas would make really perfect travel scents.

    Enjoy your trip – it sounds fabulous!

  • Scentred says:

    Etro Shaal Nur might do the trick. I also find Bois des Iles quite relaxing – especially the drydown.

  • karin says:

    Well, Dzing! is very calming for me today. :-)

    Looking forward to hearing all about your trip, Patti!

  • Paige says:

    Have a safe and wonderful trip! Since you mentioned the CdG incense series, my choice would be Ouarzazate hands down. I find it comforting. Best of luck with the rest of your preparation. What a challenge it must be but it sounds like you have it all covered.

  • Ann N. says:

    Hi Patty, your trip sounds wonderful, but I know just what you mean about the anxiety that packing can bring. But it will be over soon and you’ll be on your way to the trip of a lifetime.
    A calming scent that I love (and had forgotten about until just the other day) is Van Cleef & Arpel’s Bois d’ Iris, which you reviewed last year and liked very much, if I remember correctly. It’s almost ethereal, just a lovely whisper with a gentle, elegant waft.
    I also find Le Labo’s Gaiac 10 (Tokyo city exclusive) to be very centering and grounding, a minimalist beauty that is a joy to wear.
    The only downside: its maddening price and even-more maddening exclusivity. Thank heavens for decants!

  • Kym says:

    Use a foaming, oil-based cleanser on your face. I have one made by Biotherm but am not sure if it’s still made (I’ve had it that long). Get a netti pot to clean out your nasal passages every day. The first time you try this, it will feel odd, but there’s a good chance you’ll become addicted! I used to use this every day and was amazed at the junk that came out of my passages. After a cleaning, your sense of smell and taste is amazing!

  • Fragrant Witch says:

    Sounds like a fab trip. I second the Liz Earle recommendation – her stuff is amazing. I am dry/sensitive as well but her line works incredibly well, my skin glows AND it takes eveything, including mascara off. The lavender idea is good as well, I always have a bottle as it is good for so many things. My most relaxing fragrance is DK Chaos- lavender, coriander, wenge just glorious and relaxing. Have a great time!

    • Zazie says:

      Third the Liz Earle cleanse and polish + muslin cloth recommendation. It is a simple routine that makes a great difference.

  • maggiecat says:

    I get frazzled planning for a weekend trip! For cleansers, i second Philosophy, but also recommend Origins Checks and Balances – it’s a refreshing, thorough cleanser that is not drying – and it hasn’t got harmful chemicals in it. Lavender soothes me, and I agree wholeheartedly that it has medicinal value as well. Deep breaths….deep breaths….

  • Stephen says:

    Pure sandalwood oil! Calming and meditative, you should be able to pick some up out there. Oh, and you are on holiday, leave the iPad at home! You do not need it. Take a break from your regular life and minimize the electronics, you will come back refreshed and de-cluttered!

    • jen says:

      I was thinking the same thing–do it like its the 30s and there is no way of contacting the outside world.

  • Rappleyea says:

    The most calming fragrance I’ve ever used is SSS Incense Pure. I even keep a sample vial on my desk just to sniff no matter what fragrance I’m actually wearing.

    On the face issue, especially if you’re sensitive, stick to your regular cleanser and buy a top quality bottle of lavender essential oil. A few drops over damp skin after you cleanse will do wonders – the stuff is highly anti-bacterial, but also one of the best oils for cell renewal. It’s good for so many things that it can sound like snake oil, but results have been verified in clinical trials. I haven’t used aspirin in years as a few drops on temples take care of headaches, and lavender’s results with either burns or insect bites are amazing.

    • Ruanne says:

      Lavender is also a great option for the calming scent.

      I know you’re looking for a perfume, but I find that the smell of cornbread baking is wonderfully calming.

    • Tiara says:

      Rapple: You mentioned “buy a top quality bottle of lavender essential oil” but I always wonder how will I know if it’s top quality?! What am I looking for? A particular brand? Color?

      • Rappleyea says:

        One of the best suppliers that I’ve found is Butch Owens’ AV-AT.com. I buy his high altitude lavender and I love it.

    • Patty says:

      Totally doing this!

  • tania says:

    Cool trip!
    But I’m with you on the preparation, it’s always my least fave part. Packing, having to make hard choices about what to bring & what to leave.
    Yes, Delhi air is bad. I must admit when I worked there for a month, I didn’t bother with a mask or anything. It helped that we had our own driver, so walking was at a minimum. When you land in India, and get a whiff of that air, you know you’re not in Kansas any more, that’s for sure. :-)

    So will you be looking out for Indian attars?

  • Fiordiligi says:

    It’s a pity I didn’t know about this before as what I think you need as a cleanser is one of the Eve Lom/Amanda Lacey/Liz Earle-type “cleanse and polish” balms. They are very gentle indeed, remove all makeup including eye stuff and you remove with a warm, damp, muslin cloth. I don’t think you can get any of these in the US though so that’s helpful, isn’t it?

  • Louise says:


    I don’t think I’d trust a bandana with that air-I’d wear a mask…

    Philosophy Purity Made Simple cleanser is pretty good-cleanses deeply, gets sunscreen off (I imagine you’ll need plenty), is not stripping. It may be a tiny bit drying, but you’ll be less dry over there, and a good moisturizer should make up for that. Plus-they are cute mini-bottles (check Sephora-they have an online code now, too).

    Happy Trails!